Jumat, 25 Februari 2011

ScienceDaily Health Headlines

for Friday, February 25, 2011

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Nerve bundles in visual cortex of the brain in blind people may process sense of touch (February 25, 2011) -- Nerve bundles in the visual cortex of the brain in blind people may process the sense of touch. ... > full story

Change in PSA level does not predict prostate cancer, study finds (February 25, 2011) -- Researchers have found that change in PSA levels over time -- known as PSA velocity -- is a poor predictor of prostate cancer and may lead to many unnecessary biopsies. ... > full story

Prevalence of bunions increases with age; more common in women (February 25, 2011) -- New research determined that an increase in the severity of hallux valgus, or bunion deformity, progressively reduced both general and foot-specific health related quality of life. Bunion deformity was found in 36% of the study population and occurred more frequently in women and older individuals. ... > full story

Analysis shows which people most likely found incompetent to stand trial (February 25, 2011) -- People found incompetent to stand trial are more likely to be unemployed, have been previously diagnosed with a psychotic disorder or have had psychiatric hospitalization, according to an analysis of 50 years of research. ... > full story

Migrating cells flow like glass: Research advances understanding of wound healing, cancer metastasis, and embryonic development (February 25, 2011) -- By studying cellular movements at the level of both the individual cell and the collective group, applied physicists have discovered that migrating tissues flow very much like colloidal glass. ... > full story

Cell pathway key to insulin resistance in Type 2 diabetes illuminated (February 25, 2011) -- Scientists have shed new light on the problem of insulin resistance, and identified the key participants in a molecular pathway that holds therapeutic promise for reducing the severity of Type 2 diabetes. ... > full story

Protein could be new target to reduce damage after heart attack (February 25, 2011) -- A protein called fibronectin-EDA was linked to heart muscle damage after a heart attack in an animal study. Mice genetically altered to lack FN-EDA had less heart damage after a heart attack. Researchers suggest these findings hold potential for therapies to reduce or prevent heart muscle damage after a heart attack. ... > full story

Rare HIV-positive individuals shed light on how body could effectively handle infection (February 24, 2011) -- Although untreated HIV infection eventually results in immunodeficiency (AIDS), a small group of people infected with the virus, called elite suppressors (0.5 percent of all HIV-infected individuals), are naturally able to control infection in the absence of antiretroviral therapy, or HAART. Elite suppressors and HIV- infected individuals treated with HAART have similar levels of virus in the blood stream. ... > full story

Gene expression to distinguish metastasizing from non-metastasizing head and neck cancers (February 24, 2011) -- The validation of a test, based on gene expression and predicting the tumors that will metastasize in lymph nodes of head and neck cancers, was recently done. The test correctly predicted the absence of metastasis in 89% of the cases. ... > full story

Language patterns are roller-coaster ride during childhood development (February 24, 2011) -- Why, and when, do we learn to speak the way that we do? New research on African-American children presents an unexpected finding: language use can go on a roller-coaster ride during childhood as kids adopt and abandon vernacular language patterns. ... > full story

Alzheimer's disease may be easily misdiagnosed (February 24, 2011) -- New research shows that Alzheimer's disease and other dementing illnesses may be easily misdiagnosed in the elderly, according to early results of a study of people in Hawaii who had their brains autopsied after death. ... > full story

Whole fresh blood for transfusions may have a longer shelf life than now assumed (February 24, 2011) -- In a finding that may potentially improve survival from war injuries and disasters, laboratory researchers report that refrigerated whole blood may have a shelf life well beyond the current standard of 24 to 48 hours. The researchers found that whole blood retains its clotting properties at least 11 days under standard refrigeration. If confirmed in clinical studies, the finding could lead to improved survival for patients requiring massive transfusions. ... > full story

Is dairy colostrum the key to Olympic success? (February 24, 2011) -- Scientists investigating natural ways to enhance athletic performance have found that bovine colostrum can massively reduce gut permeability -- otherwise known as "leaky gut syndrome." Their findings could have positive implications not just for athletes but also for sufferers of heatstroke. ... > full story

Probiotic identified to treat ulcers (February 24, 2011) -- Researchers have identified a strain of probiotic bacteria that may be useful in treating ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori. ... > full story

Serotonin plays role in many autism cases, studies confirm (February 24, 2011) -- Nearly a third of cases of autism spectrum disorder may have a serotonin component. Scientists now provided further proof by using a serotonin-mimicking medication to improve the social behaviors of a particular type of mice. ... > full story

New method powerfully boosts efficiency of RNA interference (RNAi) in shutting down genes (February 24, 2011) -- Scientists have developed a powerful method that allows them to sift through thousands of candidate hairpin-shaped RNA molecules at a time and pull out only those RNAs that potently shut down the activity of a target gene. This accomplishment will now allow biologists to fully exploit RNA interference, a natural cellular mechanism that has already been co-opted by scientists for myriad purposes. ... > full story

Most 'locked-in syndrome' patients say they are happy (February 24, 2011) -- Most "locked-in syndrome" patients say they are happy, and many of the factors reported by those who say they are unhappy can be improved, suggest the results of the largest survey of its kind. ... > full story

Entire T-cell receptor repertoire sequenced revealing extensive and unshared diversity (February 24, 2011) -- T-cell receptor diversity in blood samples from healthy individuals has been extensively cataloged for the first time, setting the stage for a better understanding of infectious disease, cancer, and immune system disorders. ... > full story

Bedside ultrasound becomes a reality (February 24, 2011) -- Clinicians have often referred to ultrasound technology as the "stethoscope of the future," predicting that as the equipment shrinks in size, it will one day be as common at the bedside as that trusty tool around every physician's neck. According to a new report, that day has arrived. ... > full story

Needle-in-a-haystack search identifies potential brain disease drug (February 24, 2011) -- Scientists who examined more than 10,000 chemical compounds during the last year in search of potential new drugs for a group of untreatable brain diseases, are reporting that one substance shows unusual promise. The early positive signs for so-called prion diseases come from research in laboratory mice and cell cultures. ... > full story

New clue to the genetics of bipolar disorder: Piccolo (February 24, 2011) -- Understanding the genetics of bipolar disorder could lead to new treatments, but identifying specific genetic variations associated with this disorder has been challenging. A new study implicates a brain protein called Piccolo in the risk for inheriting bipolar disorder. In the orchestra of neuronal proteins, Piccolo is a member of a protein family that includes another protein called Bassoon. Piccolo is located at the endings of nerve cells, where it contributes to the ability of nerve cells to release their chemical messengers. ... > full story

Hyperactive nerve cells may contribute to depression (February 24, 2011) -- Scientists have identified hyperactive cells in a tiny brain structure that may play an important role in depression. The study, conducted in rats, is helping to reveal a cellular mechanism for depressive disorders that could lead to new, effective treatments. ... > full story

New finding in ribosome signaling may lead to improved antibiotics (February 24, 2011) -- Researchers have discovered a signaling mechanism in the bacterial ribosome that detects proteins that activate genes for antibiotic resistance. ... > full story

How metaphors shape the debate about crime fighting (February 24, 2011) -- Imagine your city isn't as safe as it used to be. Robberies are on the rise, home invasions are increasing and murder rates have nearly doubled in the past three years. What should city officials do about it? Hire more cops to round up the thugs and lock them away in a growing network of prisons? Or design programs that promise more peace by addressing issues like a faltering economy and underperforming schools? Your answer -- and the reasoning behind it -- can hinge on the metaphor being used to describe the problem, according to new research by psychologists. Your thinking can even be swayed with just one word, they say. ... > full story

Steroids to treat asthma: How safe are they? (February 24, 2011) -- Children experiencing an asthma attack who are treated with a short burst of oral steroids may have a brief and transient depression of immune response, according to a new study. These findings have implications for asthmatic children who have flare-ups and who may be exposed to new contagious diseases. ... > full story

Gender does not play a role in risk of death from heart attack, study suggests (February 24, 2011) -- A new study shows that being a woman may not increase your risk of dying from treatment for a severe heart attack. ... > full story

Link between unhealthy behaviors and socioeconomic status differs between countries (February 24, 2011) -- Although socioeconomic status and health behaviors are strong predictors of mortality, there are major differences in the social patterning of unhealthy behaviors in different countries. ... > full story

Virus-mimicking nanoparticles can stimulate long-lasting immunity (February 24, 2011) -- Scientists have designed tiny nanoparticles that resemble viruses in size and immunological composition and that induce lifelong immunity in mice. They designed the particles to mimic the immune-stimulating effects of one of the most successful vaccines ever developed -- the yellow fever vaccine. The particles, made of biodegradable polymers, have components that activate two different parts of the innate immune system and can be used interchangeably with material from many different bacteria or viruses. ... > full story

New vaccine technology protects mice from hepatitis C virus (February 24, 2011) -- HCV mutates so strongly that traditional vaccines are useless. However, researchers have now developed a vaccine, which provides future hope for medical protection from the hepatitis C virus. ... > full story

High vitamin-D bread could help solve widespread insufficiency problem (February 24, 2011) -- With most people unable to get enough vitamin D from sunlight or foods, scientists are suggesting that a new vitamin D-fortified food -- bread made with high-vitamin D yeast -- could fill that gap. The new study confirms that the approach works in laboratory tests. ... > full story

Higher levels of compound in blood associated with lower risk of respiratory disease (February 24, 2011) -- An analysis of data including more than 500,000 adults indicates that levels in the blood of bilirubin (a compound produced by the breakdown of hemoglobin from red blood cells) in the normal range but relatively higher were associated with a reduced risk of lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and all-cause death, according to a new study. ... > full story

Secret society connecting through the Internet feeds eating disorders, researchers say (February 24, 2011) -- Researchers reveal a new social support group that's emerging on the Web -- a secretive society to encourage negative behaviors associated with eating disorders. ... > full story

Microbes help children breathe easily? Bacteria and fungi may offer protection against asthma, study suggests (February 24, 2011) -- Children who grow up on farms are less likely to suffer from asthma than other rural children. A large-scale study indicates that this may be due to differences in the spectrum of microbes the two groups are likely to encounter. This findings suggest that certain microorganisms may protect against the disease. ... > full story

New biological pathway identified for post-traumatic stress disorder (February 24, 2011) -- High blood levels of a hormone produced in response to stress are linked to post-traumatic stress disorder in women but not men, a study has found. The hormone, called PACAP is known to act throughout the body and the brain, modulating central nervous system activity, metabolism, blood pressure, pain sensitivity and immune function. The identification of PACAP as an indicator of PTSD may lead to new diagnostic tools and eventually, to new treatments for anxiety disorders. ... > full story

Learn to the rhythm: Nerve cells acting as metronomes are necessary for certain memory processes (February 24, 2011) -- Usually, we associate rhythms with dance and music. But they also play an important role in the brain. When billions of neurons communicate with each other, certain rhythmic activity patterns arise. The proper metre in this interplay is provided by nerve cells that do not excite other cells, but inhibit their activity instead. One type of these inhibiting cells acts in a particularly fast and efficient way and is therefore thought to be crucial for memory formation and information processing in neuronal networks. Scientists can now specifically switch off this cell type and to observe the consequences for memory formation. ... > full story

Vitamin E may increase or decrease the risk of pneumonia, depending on smoking and exercise (February 24, 2011) -- Depending on the level of smoking and leisure time exercise, vitamin E supplementation may decrease or increase, or may have no effect, on the risk of pneumonia, according to a study by researchers in Finland. ... > full story

Higher levels of social activity decrease the risk of developing disability in old age (February 24, 2011) -- Afraid of becoming disabled in old age, not being able to dress yourself or walk up and down the stairs? Staying physically active before symptoms set in could help. But so could going out to eat, playing bingo and taking overnight trips. ... > full story

Versatile Ultra-low Power Biomedical Signal Processor (February 24, 2011) -- Researchers have developed a versatile ultra-low power biomedical signal processor, CoolBioTM, meeting the requirements of future wearable biomedical sensor systems. The biomedical signal processor consumes only 13pJ/cycle when running a complex ECG (electrocardiogram) algorithm at 1MHz and 0.4V operating voltage. This C-programmable chip is voltage and performance scalable supporting a frequency range of 1MHz up to 100MHz with an operating voltage from 0.4 to 1.2V. ... > full story

Spinal fluid proteins distinguish Lyme disease from chronic fatigue syndrome (February 23, 2011) -- Patients who suffer from neurologic post treatment Lyme disease and those with the chronic fatigue syndrome report similar symptoms. However, unique proteins discovered in spinal fluid can distinguish those two groups from one another and also from people in normal health, according to new research. ... > full story

Polygamy hurt 19th century Mormon wives' evolutionary fitness, scientists say (February 23, 2011) -- Polygamy practiced by some 19th century Mormon men had the curious effect of suppressing the overall offspring numbers of Mormon women in plural marriages, say scientists in a new article. Simply put, the more sister-wives a Mormon woman had, the fewer children she was likely to produce. ... > full story

New marker for heart disease identified in study of firefighters (February 23, 2011) -- Researchers are shedding new light on an underlying cause of heart disease. A new study finds that endothelial dysfunction (blood vessel lining) can predict who is at risk for developing coronary heart disease. By identifying this new marker in patients, doctors may be able to intervene early to prevent the progression of heart disease. ... > full story

3-D structure required for function of some vital cell transporters resolved (February 23, 2011) -- Researchers have completed the 3-D structural sequence adopted by several essential proteins in the exchange of substances between the extra and intracellular milieu. This finding provides a global perspective of the structural changes that occur in these relevant proteins during basic cell processes, such as protein synthesis, the regulation of metabolism and cell volume, and nerve transmission, and will contribute to understanding some of the functional disruptions caused by human diseases. ... > full story

For a better workday, smile like you mean it (February 23, 2011) -- A new study suggests customer-service workers who fake smile throughout the day worsen their mood and withdraw from work, affecting productivity. ... > full story

Scientists create illusion of having three arms (February 23, 2011) -- How we experience our own bodies is a classical question in psychology and neuroscience. It has long been believed that our body image is limited by our innate body plan -- in other words that we cannot experience having more than one head, two arms and two legs. However, brain scientists have now shown that it is possible to make healthy volunteers experience having three arms at the same time. ... > full story

Lasers ID deadly skin cancer better than doctors (February 23, 2011) -- High-resolution images from a new laser-based tool could help doctors better diagnose melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, while potentially saving thousands of lives and millions of dollars in unnecessary health care costs each year. ... > full story

Protein fuels inflammation in pancreatic and breast tumors (February 23, 2011) -- Two separate studies identify a protein that drives tumor-promoting inflammation in pancreatic and breast tumors. ... > full story

People with low self-esteem show more signs of prejudice (February 23, 2011) -- When people are feeling bad about themselves, they're more likely to show bias against people who are different. A new study examines how that works. ... > full story

Schizophrenia gene mutation found; Target for new drugs (February 23, 2011) -- In a major advance for schizophrenia research, an international team of scientists has identified a gene mutation strongly linked to the brain disorder -- and a signaling pathway that may be treatable with existing compounds. ... > full story

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